Color Match Source Book

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This is one of my FAVORITE tools!  When you are planning a project it takes the guesswork out of matching and blending colors.



Being able to convert colors by brand is a HUGE help! Sometimes  you are not able to find the exact color that your supply list calls for. This book gives you the name of the same color in other brands. Then there is the issue of what colors to use for shading and highlighting. Done! All guesswork removed. Saves me tones of time!


When I am headed to the art store to shop for more paint, it’s a book I always have with me.  Because without a doubt you will end up ending to know matching colors. It also has a section in the front to plan your project. image6






Some of the features of the book are:

  • TCS Number. Identifies the unique color qualities which these six color/mixes have in common.
  • Pure Color Pigment label
  • Indicating if the color is a shade lighter or darker than the represented color.
  • Suggested shading and highlighting colors
  • How to blend colors to get exact match for a missing color.
  • Color samples for each color.
  • Personal notes and inventory record section.


Definitely a tool I recommend you grab! I was able to find used copies on Amazon.

How being in the business of art affects my art

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It’s one thing to paint for yourself. The things you love, in the colors you love. A painting to complete a room in your home. Easy enough. But to paint for the public can be more challenging.  Taping into your customers likes and dislikes is vital.

For instance, I have allot of “Folk Art” pieces in my home. It’s what I started painting in the beginning. image1There is definitely a market for that but it’s a limited one. So to venture into the business of selling art I had to be more open and learn other styles, and techniques. Because I love to paint this was easy and fun.

I noticed there was quite a big market for abstract art. That was something I had never tried. Once I began to research and follow abstract artists, I started to fall in love with abstract. Some of them are just incredible!  Creating some of my own was fun, frustrating and messy! But worth it!

Another first for me was painting on canvas. The Folk Art pieces I had done in the past were almost always on wood. Learning different mediums was also important. Canvas has now become my medium of choice.

Overall, selling art has stretched me as a artist, and forced me out of my comfort zone. It have become a fantastic journey, and deepened my love for art in general.

Why I love working With Acrylic Paints

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The two main choices of paints most commonly used are Acrylic and Oil.  Both offer very unique benefits.  Acrylic is what I first started with back in 2000. It’s easy, period! image1 With low odor, water clean up, and fast drying time, it is most often the paint new artists choose. There is also a HUGE variety of pre-mixed colors.

It’s also very forgiving for the new artist. Because it drys so fast, a mistake if seen right away, is easily removed without removing the paint underneath. For a mistake that is completely dry, a little vodka on a q-tip does the trick quite well.

It can be thinned with just water, making line work or lettering easy. Not to mention abstracts are easy when you use a water soluble medium.  It’s going to be a much easier clean up if you get it on your clothes, furniture or floor also. Just a little water, not paint thinner!

Acrylic is what I used on the painting of Disney’s Hat Box Ghost. He is by far my favorite painting achievement to date!



For this painting I did my shadows of each element first. Then used water to thin down the acrylic, and do glaze after glazing to get the right color. Layering different colors at times to get the right tone and richness.  The flexibility of acrylic also lets you work on a piece over time. With this painting, being that it was my first ever canvas painting, it took me 6 weeks. I worked with my instructor over Skype.  I would not have had this flexibility with a oil paint.


Brush Care

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How you store and wash your brushes will determine if you get years of use out of them, or just a few months!

I always store mine upright in a brush holder.IMG_9570

My favorite cleaner & conditioner is made by “The Masters.”

In my video below I talk about the correct way to clean your brushes, and how to store them so they dry properly.


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Your varnish will make or break your artwork! Using the right brush, in the right temperature, with the right sheen, and the right number of coats are important. My video will walk you through getting the perfect finish on your project.



Cleaning Your Paint Basin

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If you paint enough you may end up with a basin that looks like this one.

image(1) copyEven though a basin that looks like this one means you have been creating all kinds of wonderful works of art, it also means it’s not working for you as well as it should. The more the paint builds up the less effective the ridges are at the bottom, or on the sides that clean your brush. And if it’s like this one, with slots on the side to hold your brush in the water, the your bristles will start catching on the sides and ruin your brush. So how do you get rid of all that built up gunk?

A nice BIG bottle of VODKA! No not for  drinking, although you probably wont care about your nasty basin is if you hit the sauce. But seriously, you have probably heard me talk about using it to lift painting mistakes. Well it’s the same here. Just poor it to the top, let it sit for a few hours or over night. Then start pealing it off. You can also use a stiff toothbrush to scrub it off.

It requires a little work, but the end result is work the work. Especially if it’s a basin you love.

See, all better! 🙂 Happy Painting!!



Easy Craft Paint Storage

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I saw this on Pinterest and loved the idea! So this is my version, along with paint brush storage cups. I used black semi-gloss paint I had from another project and scrap wood we had in the garage. So the entire project was just $20 for the purchase of the wire storage cubes themselves! Look around at what you have, you may be surprised at what you can make for little or no money!


I started with wire storage cubes I bought at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $20.


 Another score is that I still can build 3 wire storage cubes after building 2 hanging craft paint holders. They each can hold about 75 bottles of acrylic paint! Plenty of room to grow my stock!

The theme for my office/studio is Disney’s Haunted Mansion. So I went for black and used distressed wood painted black with purple accents. I sanded the wood pieces in strategic places till I had the look I was after. The stake I found to use as spacers for the corners for the paint holders had aged nicely out in the weather. I believe it was a garden stake of some kind.


We cut them at 4″ each and notched them so the wire would fit snug. This took a bit of work till we got them to fit just right.


Once they were cut, notched and sanded a bit, I dry brushed them with some black acrylic paint.IMG_9251

We then used heavy kitchen string, like the kind you would use to tie up a turkey, to hold them snug into the corners.


They were then hung from a loop of the same thread and held by a weathered screw. The end result works but moves more than I’d like for the long haul. I think I will eventually cut a piece of plywood the same size (painting and distressing it the same way) and run screws through the back and into each wooden peg. Then screw the wood to the wall, making them very solid and giving me more room above them to hand two Disney prints I’ve had my eye on (hehe)


Painting Essentials

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There are a few basic items every painter should have at their fingertips. In this video I show you what they are. Listed below the video are some of the items I spoke of.


Flats: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 3/4 & 1 inch

Rounds: 4, 6, 8

Filberts: 4, 6, 8

Liners: 0, 1, 2




Pictured below is the brush cleaner I use and also the palette pad.

image     2015-05-11_1631